September 14, 2017 1:03 pm

Nearly two-thirds of Saskatchewan harvest complete

There are concerns dry conditions may prevent farmers from seeding winter cereals as the 2017 Saskatchewan harvest nears two-thirds completion.

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Minimal disease issues have been reported by farmers as significant progress has been made in the past week on the 2017 harvest.

Saskatchewan Agriculture said 65 per cent of the crop is now in the bin due to the warm and dry weather up to Sept. 11, well ahead of the five-year average of 40 per cent combined.

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Another 22 per cent of the crop is swathed or ready to straight-cut.

Farmers in the southwest region have 86 per cent of their crop in the bin, with the southeast at 76 per cent, west-central at 66 per cent and east-central at 57 per cent.

In northern regions, 37 per cent of the crop is combined in the northeast and 35 per cent in the northwest. Some areas have reported frost and producers are assessing damage.

Although there have been minimal disease issues reported so far during harvest, some farmers have reported lighter bushel weights.

There are concerns that dry field conditions may prevent some producers from seeding winter cereals.

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Cropland topsoil moisture is rated 39 per cent short and 46 per cent very short, with hay land and pasture topsoil moisture rated 34 per cent short and 55 per cent very short.

The lack of moisture is also causing crop damage, and combine and grass fires have been reported due to the dry conditions.

Strong winds have also blown swaths around and shelled-out standing crops.

SaskPower is urging farmers to exercise caution in the fields, with nine reports of farm equipment coming into contact with power lines since Sept. 1.

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